Final ranking that will never change, feel free to roast me:
2. TFA (it's fun!)
3. Star Wars
4. The Last Jedi
8. Sith (I GUESS)
9. Rogue One
Posted December 20th, 2019
by The Bandit
I haven't watched it yet, watching it tomorrow (Saturday), but my biggest complaint with this trilogy is the way it seems like no one was really in-charge of maintaining an overall arc to the trilogy.
TLJ definitely flowed off from TFA, but you could tell that it took story elements in directions that Abrams hadn't planned for and I remember saying at some point on this site that with JJ Abrams back in-charge of the third movie it's a shame he wasn't just given the whole trilogy because I suspect he's going back to his original plans for this trilogy, which will probably make TLJ feel like the odd one out. Just seems like it would've been better to either have someone who was in control of the overall direction of it, or just give the trilogy to one person.
Guess I'll see what I actually think when I've watched it. I am fully expecting to not like this one as much as TLJ though.
Edited December 20th, 2019
I'm probably going to see it tuesday, and I agree with moonray. Need to rewatch the other two first -- I haven't seen either of them again since they came out.
Posted December 20th, 2019
I appreciate star wars but it never really clicked for me. Of all the film's ive enjoyed ROTS, NH, ESB and TLJ.
[hide]But as far as being a huge SW fan goes.... Im not. I've heard some pretty mixed reviews about this movie. And a lot of it makes me want to smack my head against a wall.
Between bringing back Big P out of nowhere and making Rey this OP Jedi God it appears to be the most disjointed movie of the bunch. My heart goes out to all the SW fans. Y'all deserve better. [/hide]
Edited December 21st, 2019
So I watched it yesterday and I'm still not sure whether I liked it or not. Like, it wasn't really conistently anything? Parts were really bad, parts were really good, some parts were a mix of both.
Some non-spoiler bullet point thoughts:
** Probably some of my favourite lightsaber fights from any of the movies. It had the more subdued style of the OT but mixed in some of the Jedi acrobatics from the prequels and I dunno, for me it just worked so well. Rey & Kylo's final duel was just really good to watch.
** Disliked all the backtracking from TLJ. Like seriously why? I guess I'll go into more detail in a spoiler tag but this just bugged me. TLJ clearly took things in a direction JJ Abrams didn't want, it was obvious when TLJ came out and it's even more obvious here when Abrams was given the chance to essentially make the movie irrelevant.
** Some of the "answers" they provided were dumb and just raise more questions.
** Music was good but this trilogy has failed to provide any standout tracks which is a disappointment for someone like me who loves to listen to movie OSTs. Too much reliance on original trilogy tracks was also a problem for me, I also heard moments in the tracks that were clearly homages to OT tracks but they ended up irritating me because I was expecting it to flow into the original track rather than into something else (this is just a personal nitpick and not really a flaw with the movie).
** I hate how Disney Star Wars has ruined Hyperspace!!! I believe the implication is this movie takes place in time period of less than 16 hours, and yet in that time they are able to hop around the galaxy multiple times and [w]assemble a fleet for the final battle[/w]. It's not really an issue exclusive to this movie, it's been an issue ever since Disney took over. If you watch the OT there is a clear implication that time passes and Hyperspace "takes a while" to get you somewhere. In Disney Star Wars you can just hyperspace from on a planet or immediately after leaving a planet and get where you need to be very quickly... As well as the bad guys can chase you down instantly. It just irritates me that travel time isn't a thing at all now. (Needed to vent that).
** New characters were utterly pointless and took up screentime that could've been given to existing characters. Not gonna even spoiler tag this but Rose is in the movie for like 1 minute of total time and it's split accross multiple scenes. That's possibly an exaggeration but I would honestly say I'm not far off. A few minutes of screentime max. I don't care if some people didn't like her in the previous movie ( I didn't much care for her to be honest) but she's part of the story now and she deserved more time. Wouldn't be surprised if they quickly added her in after people started questioning where she was in all the trailers.
** Leia was really off... Maybe just because I knew going in that the actress is dead and they'd reused old footage but her responses to stuff could be very awkward at times. An example is Rey doubting herself and Leia just gives this generic response about not doubting yourself, then Rey repeats the line and proceeds to tell Leia what she's about to do. Or another scene where Rey tells Leia she wants to go do something and Leia just gives this generic "No" response leaving all the actual dialogue to Rey. I get they really didn't have much choice here but it just gave Leia's performance a weirdness to it. I am happy we got Leia in the movie instead of them just writing her out entirely though.
>Based on interviews JJ did immediately after TLJ and leading up to TROS, it seemed like he perfectly respected that film, but TROS does a lot to undermine it. There's really no getting around it. He undoes multiple things Rian Johnson set up. I know that's a complaint a lot of TLJ haters had about TLJ itself, but I don't think the two are comparable at all. TLJ never directly contradicts anything in TFA, while TROS contradicts TLJ in multiple instances.
This was by far one of the worst things the movie did. You could totally skip TLJ and you'd only be asking yourself "Where is Snoke and why is Luke dead". They backtracked so much and I'm convinced it's mostly because JJ Abrams wanted to tell his story rather than deal with where Rian Johnson had taken it... But even that doesn't really explain it because I'm convinced, like you were at release, that TFA was telling us that Rey's parents don't matter. Daisy Ridley even said after that movie that she didn't understand why people were wondering about it as she felt the movie adaquelty explained it. Seeing as TFA never once implied anything to do with Palpatine you have to wonder why JJ Abrams added it now.
On the subject of her relation to Palpatine, I really don't get it. It didn't serve the story in any meaningful way. As you said, just being related to someone doesn't automatically make you able to know how to use the Force. Anakin was literally some mystical chosen one "created by the force" or whatever and he still had to be trained to do stuff. Luke and Leia were his children and they still had to learn. So making Rey a Palpatine doesn't really explain why she didn't need training (which by this third movie was a non-issue anyway)... But also they actually introduced a reason why in this very movie. They could've easily said it's because of the "Force Dyad" thing (which seemingly is like Force Bonds from the old EU), she even uses her first force power AFTER Kyo goes into her mind so you could easily say that encounter caused the Dyad and from then on she's gained some of his knowledge, even if she doesn't realise it.
Also my issue with Rey has never been how "powerful" she was but her ability to just know how to do these things when in the past people needed training. So for me this would've been a sufficient answer, she got the knowledge from being bonded to Ben/Kylo. I think the "power" (like how effortlessly she lifts the boulders) is just one of those things where we've seen it so many times that perhaps they just felt a need to make it look more fantastical to wow the viewer more and so always took that more as a visual thing than a story thing.
It also didn't up the stakes or anything. Palpatine refers to her as granddaughter like once, maybe twice, and that's it. There's nothing meaningful in her being his granddaughter. In the OT it kinda meant something when Vader is Luke's father, perhaps not so much in ESB (although it adds a nice dramatic moment to their encounter) but it has a lovely payoff in RotJ when Vader becomes Anakin again and turns on the Emperor. This movie could completely play out the exact same without Rey and Palpatine being related.
Seeing as I am on the subject of her family I guess I'll also address the very end. I really like the message of "you choose who your family is" and so I really like the idea that Rey becomes an adopted Skywalker. The only parental figures she has ever had have been from that family group (including Han) so it is a fair enough direction to take. A friend I went to watch the movie with also suggested that she should've kept the Palpatine name and the message could've been "It doesn't matter what family your born into, that doesn't define who you are". I thought that was fair too, and it would have at least given a reason for her being a Palpatine. Similarly it might have even been cool for her not to take any family name, thus we can finally say the story of the Skywalker family is over and move on to other characters!
ALSO... Who the hell did Palpatine have a kid with? I kinda want to see a Star Wars fan work out how old Rey is and how old her Dad was and then work out if Palpatine had this kid before or after he became dried up fruit in Revenge of the Sith.
I was also a bit annoyed at the "Holdo Maneuver" dialogue. How was that "one in a million"? The idea was clearly that she just set a course directly through the ship and then went to hyperspace. The Emperor's fleet was massive, even if you missed the ship you were aiming at there's a very good chance you'll hit one of the million others he had there... But I also don't buy this idea that hyperspace is so innacurate you can't replicate what she did easily. This wasn't something that needed a retcon, it's pretty obvious why people don't do it all the time and you could easily have just said the gravity of the planet prevents you from doing it (oh wait I frogot Disney Star Wars lets you hyperspace in gravity now, guess they created their own problem there lol). Still, it was something they could've explained away better instead of making it look like Holdo basically just took a one in a million chance at saving her friends when really she must've been pretty certain to attempt it.
Anyway, moving on...
The first part of this movie is terrible. It jumps from scene to scene, planet to planet, very quickly. Hyperspace skipping was cool to watch, but much like the hyperspace shield bypass in TFA I do wonder if this kinda cheapens hyperspace even more than it already has been.
Palpatine's scenes were really cool. I loved the creepy lightning flashes of his undead face that they did and just the atmosphere overall of those moments between him and Kylo. The callback to TFA when Palpatine revealed he had been pretending to be Vader's spirit/voice was a nice touch too. I'm not sure exactly what the implication was with Snoke though. Was he a clone or just a frankenstein monster that Palpatine created? Was Palpatine in control of him or just telling him what to do? As a bit of weird addition. I know I was one of the people who wanted them to explain where Snoke came from but this was probably one of the dumbest ways to go about it.
I'm also of two minds about Palpatine's return. I think it was entirely unnecessary, but at the same time I think it was handled well enough that I didn't end up minding it? I don't agree with fans who are saying it rendered Anakin's sacrifice at the end of RotJ irrelevant, because that still matters and still has significance for that part of the story. Palpatine is still dead, this story even makes it rather clearly he's still dead (until he realises he can steal their lifeforce).
Ugh so much to talk about and I had to leave before typing this sentence so I've totally lost my trail of thought so just gonna end here with probably my favourite moment of the film and then a couple random thoughts...
Ben's redemption. I loved it. Adam Driver was perfect for this role because throughout he has just nailed the character. From the "better" Anakin Skywalker type character in Force Awakens right through to his redemption back into Ben Solo. I really liked that it wasn't Rey that redeemed him too but rather it was the combined efforts of his parents (even if Han was just a hallucination). But also even after that brilliant redemption getting to see him as Ben Solo again. He was so clearly a different person that it worked so well. The Solo shrug he gives after getting the lightsaber and he 'sigh' he lets out after blocking. I really bought that he was Han Solo's son from that lightsaber duel.
I really wish they'd had the nerve not to kill him off. Killing him off is the easiest solution to a redemption arc when you don't want to actually deal with the aftermath for the character but I would have loved to have seen more of the redeemed Ben Solo after this movie.
I hate that Rey didn't have her own lightsaber sooner, especially now that we know it was a different colour... They overused the blue lightsaber!!! I didn't really like that they brought back the anakin lightsaber for this trilogy to begin with, it seemed so unecessary and one of the "cool" things about Jedi is their unique lightsaber design. Such a wasted opportunity.
"Marvel humour" needs to go away. I don't mind it in the MCU, but it really does not work for me in Star Wars. Perhaps I am just too old for this type of humour or something :/
Palpatine's fleet kinda doesn't even deserve talking about. It's such nonsense that it was able to exist and for some reason hidden underground??? And what was that nonsnese about big ships can't figure out how to go "up" without something telling them which was is up. And why couldn't they just bomb that transmitter thing on the ship instead of randomly landing troops on it... Ugh, the less said about all that the better.
Visually an amazing film. Overall a very mixed experience that definitely needed more time and work, should've been delayed.[/hide]
Posted December 22nd, 2019
Another few random thoughts:
[hide]"And I am all the Jedi" was a dumb line but I did really like the idea of that scene and it was cool to hear them using some of the Clone Wars/Rebels characters for that moment as well... Thought it does kinda bring back the old question about whether or not all Jedi become "immortal" and just can't normally manifest themselves or if it's something only certain ones can do.[/w]
Was the implication supposed to be that Leia was connected to Kylo and that Rey accidentally killed her due to said connection? Or did the effort of speaking him to the way she did cause her to die? I'm sorta inclined to think they imply the former given the timing and given that Leia doesn't become a ghost until Ben does.
Finally... Why did Ben not get to be a Force Ghost at the end :([/hide]
Posted December 22nd, 2019
Oh and also the opening crawl was the worst of any of the Star Wars movies lol!
Posted December 22nd, 2019
Worse than the one in the ham solo movie?
Posted December 22nd, 2019
Solo didn't have an opening crawl? You can't be bad at something if you never did it!
Anyway I'm going to end up watching this a second time with my dad and my sister next week as they haven't seen it yet, so I'll let you know if my opinion of the movie changes at all on a second viewing.
Posted December 22nd, 2019
I don't think I liked it very much? But there were a bunch of things that I liked? I dunno. I'm still sitting on it. This has typically how this trilogy has gone (I didn't like TFA at first, but came to really enjoy it upon another viewing. I felt meh about TLJ, but definitely loved it the second time. I don't know if I'll see this one again any time soon due to the time constraints on my life lately, but I'll see it again later.
The general, spoiler-free stuff I have to say is that I can appreciate the position that JJ Abrams was in. He was almost in the same exact position he was in for The Force Awakens: having to make a movie that combines stuff that some fans loved and some fans hated. (In TFA, he mostly focused on the originals, but didn't totally ignore the prequels because some folks do love those movies!) Here, he has to balance the goodwill he got from TFA and try to continue a series following a film that was, suffice it to say, divisive. I thought he mostly did well, but it definitely felt like he got too wrapped up in trying to conclude some of his own storylines. I thought he more or less was respectful of The Last Jedi, sorta, but I don't think he totally adjusted according to it. That's why the first twenty minutes feels like an entire film in fast-forward!
Pacing is an issue here, but I'm not sure it's ever not been an issue in a Star Wars film besides the first. All three of these mainline movies have suffered this pretty discernibly (I loooove TLJ, but that definitely has pacing problems). I loved all the puppetry and the robots. Actually, all the droids were kinda the highlight for me, to be honest. Lightsaber battles were cool, though I still think the throne room in TLJ is the best sequence in this trilogy. I actually really liked some of the new characters, although they feel kinda thrown in for spin-off purposes. John Williams seemed to get back to form here with his score. And, ya know, this cast has always been excellent.
Overall, "it's fine" is probably the best way to put it. I certainly didn't hate it overall (though I hated a few key elements of it), but I don't know if I liked it much? We'll see if that changes upon another watch, though.
So, more spoiler-stuff:
1. Rey as a Palpatine.
I really, really, really hated this development, even though I fully expected Abrams to go ahead and make her of a Force-powerful "bloodline." Admittedly, the biggest reason I dislike this is that the emphasis on lineage and bloodline has always been something in Star Wars that I've found annoying after a while. After nine films, there are still like, only three characters that actually matter. I quite loved that The Last Jedi tried to abandon that. I thought that gave freshness to the franchise and opened up a whole slew of possibilities for the future, but NOPE. Gotta have that shit in your DNA. It's basically midochlorians all over again, really. It's just that some families have it, and some don't! So, this reversal - while it doesn't ruin TLJ for me - felt like it undermined one of the most compelling and promising elements of the trilogy.
But also, I don't really get why it had to be Palpatine blood anyway. I totally buy that the dude had children (I mean, he was a totally "normal" senator before he was the deformed Sithlord Emperor). But I don't really get what reason her family had to be Palpatine. If the idea was to show that you are not your family and you can choose who you become, they were already doing that with Ben Solo. I kinda hoped that the third movie would be about Rey coming to terms with the fact that she wasn't pre-ordained, and would use that healthy understanding to accept herself for who she is and feel empowered to become who she wants to be to then help save Ben. But, NOPE. Not only was she pre-ordained...the entire trilogy's series of events were! (Feels more prequel-like to me in that way.)
It's also why for me, that "I'm Rey Skywalker" line at the end made me cringe. We're never gonna be done with Skywalkers, are we? Even though she isn't really, she's just of another incredibly powerful Force-infused bloodline. It'll just be more Skywalkers who also happen to be secretly Palpatines. Blargh. I was really hoping that by the end, she would have answered, "Just Rey." It gives her independence and ownership. It completes her growth and her thematic character arc. To have her confidently say, "Just Rey" would have been much more powerful, for me at least, in showing her development, given how distraught and unsure of herself she was when she had to answer that way earlier. And, I think it's kinda nice to give kids this message that being "just you" is ok, and even great! Kind of a Mr. Rogers-esque I suppose, but I like that. Meh.
2. Ben Solo's redemption
So...I know that we live in an age where people don't think things matter in a piece of fiction unless characters die, but Ben's death kinda...doesn't work for me...I don't really get why it had to be that way.
I mean, I do...it's because Vader died saving Luke in Return of the Jedi, so...gotta mirror that! (I felt like my issues with TFA, that it was too much of just a rehash of the original trilogy, were basically very much present here as well, only more with Return of the Jedi than A New Hope.)
But there are a few key differences. First: Vader was mortally wounded in his actual act of redemption. He hadn't done anything to earn redemption prior to that. We don't even really get a sense that Vader is conflicted or might be conflicted in the entire trilogy until RotJ. No one knows they are related in the first film. All that happens in ESB is we find out that they are father/son. And then all that happens in the lead up to him tossing out the Emperor in RotJ is that his tone of voice seems different and subdued. But he still accepts his son's surrender and still delivers him to the Emperor and only has a a clear change of heart when seeing his son being tortured.
Ben "earned" his redemption before that though. Not only have we seen that Ben is conflicted throughout the entire trilogy. We know from almost the very beginning that there is still good in Ben. We then see Rey set out on a course to try and save him; bring him back to the light side like Luke did for Vader. TLJ features both of them trying to win each other over to their side, but we know Ben Solo lacks conviction, really. It's only at the end of that film that he seems more fully committed.
And then here, Ben is back before we even get to the final act! Which, talk about sudden... I get that he appeared to feel stronger connections with his mother (evident by his inability to fire on her in TLJ). And I get that her reaching out to him helped. But it kinda comes off as just...he gets stabbed and almost dies after being distracted by his mother and then realizing she has died. Then there's a talk from Ghost Dad, and...Ben's back, baby! But ok, fine. Things put in perspective, ok. Star Wars isn't exactly known for avoiding contrivances. I can live with it.
My point, I guess, is that Ben's already back *before* his act that costs him his life. Not only that, but his actual act of redemption is his choice to show up and help her. It feels so forced to, at the end of it all, kill Rey and put him in a position to give up his life force to save her at his own expense. (I actually thought this bit visually was hilarious. I kinda wanted them to just keep going back and forth passing that same little bit of life force they each had.) But it just felt arbitrary. Vader "had to" die for his redemption because he had done nothing else. Nothing prior. And Luke had been dying in large part because of his father. Rey was not killed because of Ben though. And Ben had showed up to help before anything bad happened to her. He very much didn't "have to" die for his redemption. Given how hard she had tried to save Ben, it feels really weird to have her succeed at that, only to then kill him off like, forty minutes later.
And given that one of the big themes of the whole trilogy was the idea that one is not beholden to the past, or that one can be who they wish to be (they are not dictated by their lineage), it feels kinda...strange...to then have Ben Solo suffer the exact same fate as Vader. I suppose it fits given how much he wanted to be Vader through his Kylo Ren persona, but then, he wasn't really "saved."
So really, it just feels like he died because Vader died.
3. The kiss.
I really, really, really hated that they kiss at the end, too. I get that they have a connection. Indeed, it was one of the most interesting elements of TLJ for me. But to then suggest that it was kinda romantic in nature? Ugh. It just feels so gross when you really reflect on the nature of their relationship. Kylo Ren literally kidnapped her, tortured her, killed or threatened to kill people she cared about, Force stalked her....but... there's a good man deep down, so she loves him? Or something?
I'm not one of those Finn/Poe stans (although it wouldn't bother me at all if it had been a thing), but seriously: they have a much more romantic element than Ben and Rey ever did. Definitely ok with a hug, that's fine. But gimme a break with the notion that they have some sort of romantic bond. I know y'all probably hate me when I bring stuff like this up, but I kinda feel like it normalizes and excuses abuse when they do that for the reasons listed in the above paragraph.
It just felt super unearned, on top of that.
4. The fake killings.
Listen, I'm not someone who *wants* my main heroic characters in Star Wars to die. They generally didn't in the originals. (None of our named heroes die in Return of the Jedi. Not even the smaller ones like Wedge or Admiral Ackbar.) But if you're going to "kill" one of these characters, you have to actually do it from time to time. They "fake" kill Chewie. Then they "fake" kill C-3P0. Then they "fake" kill Zorii Bliss. All of them totally fine by the end of the film. (My preference would be for them to not fake kill or real kill any of them. My point is just if you're going to do that, you have to actually go all the way with one of them. And not just say you did because you killed Ben Solo after "faking killing" him moments before. It's not the same.) My friend's 12 year old brother even complained, during the movie, that no one seems to die, so what's the point?
5. Agreed that Rose should have been in the movie more. This felt like the shittiest "response" to TLJ hate. Like, I get that folks didn't love her, or even the entire plot thread she was in, but it feels real shitty to use her even less than RotJ used Lando (if we're sort of equating them as new core characters introduced in the second film). She doesn't even have to have her own plot thread here. Just have her be, I dunno, involved in the actual plot or the central action? Why can't she be part of the Falcon's crew, with Poe and Finn and Chewie? Oh, because Abrams didn't make her up, so he can't include her in the plan. I happened to like Rose, and I love the actress, so this - while not at all "breaking" things - was a let down.
6. I don't think I've ever seen a movie want so badly to be a video game. From the super fetch quest nature of the movie to the intro of bosses with the Knights of Ren. Seriously, the hell? They specifically made each one stand out with their own unique weapon. Totally setting up future boss fights. And then they just...stalk Rey for two hours? Could'a had some of them do something before the finale...
7. Ok, always stoked to see Billy Dee, but they couldn't even have him show up before Leia's death? Or show us that the reason he came back was he heard of her death? I know the former idea would have been harder given that they had to plan around Carrie Fisher's passing (more on that in 8), but dang. Could have at least shown us the scene when he finds out and decides to come back so that it isn't literally out of thin air that he's changed his mind.
8. A lot of the dialogue feels stilted. Like, it's less they're having conversations and more they're setting up some pithy one-liner for someone else. Sometimes it's jokes, but sometimes it's "serious." Writing feels especially clunky around Leia. I know this is due to the unforeseen tragic passing of Carrie Fisher, but there are times where it really sounds like they're just...not actually talking? Some of her lines are so weird and clearly just ripped out of context of whatever seen those would have been in. I dunno. I certainly loved seeing her on screen one more time, and thought they gave her a touching send-off.
But the CGI Leia was pretty bad. They really need to start getting away from this kind of thing, in my opinion.
9. I really just felt the Force fatigue here. Something about the end of this one really made me recognize how futile life must seem to folks in this universe that aren't Force sensitive. That EVERYTHING seems to revolve around the Sith/Jedi divide has to be so frustrating (I hope that's what future movies tackle, actually.) To the point where it just took a super-charged Palpatine to turn the tide of the space battle. I mostly mean plot here, because I actually did like many of the new Force powers throughout the trilogy. (I also appreciated the warning before the feature. Not sure if this happened everywhere, but I really appreciated knowing there would be strobe effects. I don't have light sensitivity issues generally, but strobing tends to give me headaches. At least I went in prepared.) But to just have everything centered around the Force ever since Empire Strikes Back, it's just getting a little tiresome. I have to admit, I started wondering if it would be in the galaxy's best interest if the fight with Palpatine ended with all three of them dead.
Those are most of my negative (and my most negative) criticisms. I really think the problem with JJ Abrams is that he's way too derivative. I know that sounds strange about a Star Wars film - a franchise built off of an amalgamation of past programs folks were nostalgic for - but I kinda....don't...just want the same Star Wars movie made over and over again? I kinda just don't want the same trilogy beat for beat over and over again. To return to basically a rehash of the originals after getting something fresh with the Last Jedi was definitely disappointing.
But, I also do have some spoilery positives I'll conclude on:
1. IF they absolutely had to bring Palpatine back (ugh, I hated that, but I don't have more to add to that thought), at least they made him look strikingly creepy. Those shots of him hanging from the arm, GLaDOS style were great!
2. I enjoyed how Abrams evolved the cross-location connection between Rey and Ben. It doesn't make sense, but it looked awesome on screen and nothing about the Force actually makes sense. I enjoyed it.
3. Rey's lightsaber at the end. I fully agree that things would have been more fun if we didn't just keep getting blue/red lightsabers again.
4. Always appreciate an appearance from Wedge, even if it's blink-and-you-miss-it.
5. I liked the introduction of the idea that there are more deserters. Having Finn meet someone like that was a neat moment, I think. This is kinda like Benecio del Toro showing him about arms dealers: not really necessary, doesn't really go anywhere, but it's a nice addition.
6. The action was good. I kinda nodded off a bit during the space battle stuff, but it was well done and fun.
7. Not sure if I love it or hate it but....
JEDI SPIRIT BOMB???
Overall, it's fine. The trilogy is fine. I think in terms of visual filmmaking, it's by far superior to either preceding series. But that's not all it takes to be "good." I'll take these messy films over the stilted, indulgent prequels myself.
But if folks love this one, I'm glad for them. I really feel like The Last Jedi was the Star Wars film I wanted, and I got it. Stinks it couldn't be its own series or be built upon better, but that's gonna be a movie like the first Star Wars film that I can revisit apropos of nothing and still love it. So, I'm fine with this result. We'll see what happens with a rewatch, but I'm having a hard time imagining liking Rise of Skywalker. It's pretty much in "prequel" territory for me. But I'm not gonna start a Twitter war with folks who loved it. Just voicing my criticisms here in the aftermath of seeing it, and then going about my life.
Posted December 23rd, 2019
by Jet Presto
So, I have A LOT of thoughts (too many to write).
I can say that the argument that Disney had no plans going in is valid. It's not even a theory--the people behind the sequel trilogy have stated this as fact. These films would have been better off with a plan.
That said, I was surprised that I enjoyed it overall...despite seeing that there were a lot of flaws. This movie is too busy. Too much happens too fast. There's a lot of bad story decisions. But there's also a lot of good ones.
I appreciated that it wasn't 100% a retread of RotJ. But the film also plays it safe.
I liked that the humor was toned down. I didn't like Palpatine being back (but I LOVED watching him). I didn't like that Snoke was a clone. I liked how they handled Leia as best they could. I liked how they showed Rey struggle with the dark side. I felt like Rey and Kylo's kiss was awkward and out of left field. And so on and so on.
Overall, I thought it was pretty good overall but there's a lot to call out for being VERY dumb. Bad pacing, messy script...but good directing and some great character moments. It's a mixed bag, but enjoyable if you can accept it for what it is.
Posted December 23rd, 2019
I mean, it wasn't a complete retread of Return of the Jedi, but the Force Awakens wasn't a complete retread of A New Hope either. Both still draw way, way too heavily on them though. The finale here is almost exactly going down the list of things that happen at the end of Return of the Jedi.
I remain unconvinced that the issue is that they "didn't have a plan," mostly because I am not convinced that George Lucas *actually* knew where he was going the entire time during the originals. And even if he did, he certainly didn't adjust to the reality of filmmaking well. The main difference is that there was really just one person pushing a vision throughout, even though different directors helmed each of the original films. I think that's where the problem mostly lies. The directors of the originals weren't really given any creative control beyond how to shoot the thing. Johnson and Abrams clearly had more creative control here, which made for a sloppy trilogy in a different way than just Lucas's innately poor, but consistent writing.
Personally, I hope they actually go forward and let directors take the reins of their Star Wars projects. I think that's really the only way to keep Star Wars films relevant, fresh, and worthwhile. Disney has weirdly appeared to let JJ Abrams and Rian Johnson mostly do what they want in the episodes, but didn't really let Gareth Edwards or Phil Lord and Chris Miller do so with their one-shot projects. I think maybe, we just don't do trilogies anymore?
I forgot to add that a lot of this film feels like set up for the new "extended universe." There are a number of moments that feel very deliberately left hanging so that you'll go out and buy the comic book later or something.
Edited December 24th, 2019
by Jet Presto
Also, when I really think about it: I'm not sure that if JJ Abrams had control of the whole trilogy, that I'd wind up liking this one either way. And I think about why this felt unsatisfying to me in a way that I have never felt about a finale in the series. Return of the Jedi is not what I would consider "good," but I enjoyed it and found the ending satisfying. Revenge of the Sith isn't what I would consider "good," but it was logical (mostly) and ended where we all knew it would. It's fine.
But Abrams relies heavily on mystery boxes for his storytelling. I suspect that the major components of this finale here are what he had in mind when he started this. Knowing how the series ends: does that make you more likely to revisit it? I can't say that I feel particularly drawn to revisit this trilogy because I know where it all goes. They're still fun movies with characters I like, so it's not that there's no reason to watch them again. But...the originals work so well despite their flaws in large part because it's more about the adventure than the mysteries themselves. JJ Abrams started this trilogy from the very beginning to be based on mystery boxes. When you watch A New Hope, Luke's lineage doesn't matter one bit. You can put that on at any point, not knowing anything or knowing everything that came before or after, and it stands up as its own film. There are some questions introduced in Empire Strikes Back, but the questions aren't really THE draw. It had more of a Saturday morning matinee cliffhanger, where you want to see what action happens next, more than one built on mystery. I don't think many walked away feeling like they needed to know who the Emperor was, or what Boba Fett's deal is, or who the other hope Yoda refers to is. I'm sure those questions got asked and debated, but it wasn't the focal point.
But from the getgo, this trilogy *has* been about mystery boxes. It's been every bit about the years in between movies as it has been the movies themselves. They clearly want folks coming up with theories and making guesses about things that are actually kind of unimportant to the story itself, or the adventure itself. Because that's the only way Abrams seems to know how to tell a captivating story.
So in a lot of ways, the issues that end the trilogy are very much related to how JJ Abrams decided to structure it from the beginning. With the benefit of hindsight, it kinda really feels this was always destined to be more of a disappointment than anything, even if a fun disappointment at times. Maybe we stop giving beloved properties to the creators of Lost....
Posted December 24th, 2019
by Jet Presto
>I forgot to add that a lot of this film feels like set up for the new "extended universe." There are a number of moments that feel very deliberately left hanging so that you'll go out and buy the comic book later or something.
It may be true that these moments were left in so they could act as EU inspirations but a lot of it is because they redid the script a few times and cut entire subplots.
I've been reading the leaks that happened (amazing to realise this movie's plot in its entirely was leaked a couple of months before release). Given this guy got the final leaks almost entirely spot on it seems reasonable to assume his earlier stuff was true and a lot of the weird moments that go nowhere are because they cut that subplot out. Like Lando and Jennah had a subplot about her being his daughter that was filmed but it got cut and all that's left is this awkward scene at the end.
Edited December 24th, 2019
Huh, interesting. I haven't followed anything in terms of production.
Posted December 24th, 2019
by Jet Presto
Interesting how we all seem to have very similar opinions about this movie, especially given how divisive Last Jedi was. Though I think everyone in this thread also didn't really have a problem with TLJ, so maybe our tastes are already somewhat aligned.
=It may be true that these moments were left in so they could act as EU inspirations but a lot of it is because they redid the script a few times and cut entire subplots.
This is unsurprising. The movie kind of wears this on its sleeve. I also remember reading that at one point, the edit made it the longest Star Wars film ever by a pretty wide margin, but it was cut back pretty heavily to be shorter than TLJ.
That Lando scene was SO bad. I could tell what they were going for just from tropes and being coded to understand scenes like that from other stories, but it *felt* like he was hitting on her, and then her facial expression made it look like she thought he was hitting on her. I can't believe that made it in lmao.
Posted December 24th, 2019
by The Bandit
Haven't watched it yet but when I get around to it I'll probably have something to say even if it may not be much. I haven't read this thread yet either but I will say that I am optimistic despite hearing only bad things about it from people I've heard about it from and I do think I'm probably going to like it despite that. I have strange tastes anyway and one of the prequels was my favorite.
Edited December 24th, 2019
by Grey Echelon
Sadly nothing to offer me. how's it feel getting more than one comic in five years?
Posted December 25th, 2019
It's funny...but I'm seeing a few 180 turns on people's feelings towards The Last Jedi after The Rise of Skywalker has been released. While I personally loved it (it's my fourth favorite Star Wars film), the hate truly was shocking to me when I heard how much people despised TLJ and Rian Johnson's direction. I think I can agree that it has flaws for sure. Canto Byte was kind lame and meandering, Admiral Holdo's purple hair felt out of place in the Star Wars universe (to me), and the humor was too Disney/Marvel. Everything else was incredible and fairly well-written to me. It came across as a thinking-man's Star Wars film to me, and I haven't changed my mind since I saw TLJ.
With Rise of Skywalker, I like it...but...it's the worst-directed of the three new films. However, I like some of the ideas in this film (despite being a bit too much of fan service). The ideas are vastly more interesting than anything I saw in The Force Awakens. So, I give it props for being a more interesting film and less of a retread of A New Hope. I don't agree that the film is completely a remake of Return of the Jedi. It doesn't nearly follow the same beats as that film save for the final confrontation with Palpatine. But it's still a mess, and The Force Awakens is better-paced and directed. I still need to mull over which if I enjoy The Force Awakens more or The Rise of Skywalker. But I know for a fact that The Last Jedi will be my personal favorite in this sequel trilogy.
I also notice this: The Force Awakens is liked by both critics and audiences, The Last Jedi is loved by critics and hated by audiences, and The Rise of Skywalker is hated by critics but loved by audiences.
Interesting. Twenty years from now, I would bet a full paycheck people will like The Last Jedi most out of this trilogy. It's already happening with some Youtubers I watch (like Hellogreedo, a bigger Star Was fan than me). We'll see in twenty years, though. We'll see.
To answer your question, Jet, I will be revisiting Rise of Skywalker. When it releases on blu-ray, I'll be revisiting all nine films some day. It hasn't put me off just because it's a mixed-bag of a film.
Edited December 26th, 2019
Not much to say at this point that hasn't already been said. I thought the film was perfectly fine. Notable only because it's probably the first time I've ever watched a Star Wars movie without really feeling much of anything. Even the bad films (Solo, TLJ, Clones) have their standout moments that get you a little excited/invested in things, but I can't really say that ever happened with this one.
[hide]I think the most surprising thing to me is that we were presented with (on paper) the largest space ship pew-pew battle in star wars history, but absolutely none of the action stood out. I didn't know it was possible to be bored when the lasers (green ion cannons?) start flying in a SW movie.
The design of Palpatine's Sith temple thing made me wish I was watching a KOTOR movie.
It's impressive that JJ was able to write himself into a Reaper corner in the space of a single movie. The Sith fleet was so hilariously OP that it required no less than nine plot contrivances to defeat. Their shields don't work in atmosphere! The main gun is unstable and blows up the entire ship if you sneeze on it (Rogue 2, A Star Wars Explanation). They don't know which way is up![/hide]
Posted December 26th, 2019
by Count Dooku
>Rose is in the movie for like 1 minute of total time and it's split accross multiple scenes. That's possibly an exaggeration but I would honestly say I'm not far off.
So apparently I wasn't far off with this at all. She gets a total of 1 minute and 16 seconds of screen time. The weirdest part is it's not like they even came up with a decent plot reason why she couldn't go with the others when Finn asks her to.
Posted December 28th, 2019
Hello old friends.
I walked out the cinema feeling gutted. Mostly because this film completely disregarded the anakin bringing balance to the force plot we had for 6 films. I wouldn't have minded if they twisted it, but they just didn't address it and assumed we would forget it. So it takes away from the first 6 films. I also didn't like they killed kylo ren. It's not a huge thing but I felt he could have maintained a redemption arc. It could have left us wondering about his future. Really it's a tragedy that he was turned against his master, influenced by palpatine and eventually died anyway. But at least he faded away so I guess we take it his force ghost made it? I really wanted to see Anakin in this film. I know they didn't want to detract away from the new characters but put a scene in with him near the start. I also think this film was poorly directed. As a fan of story telling and arcs I feel like this movie was poorly done.
THAT BEING SAID. After waking up the next day I'm over the missed opportunities and appreciate the better bits more. Ben/Kylo speaking to Han was the standout scene for me. I did tear up then.
Interestingly though I think Bandit's review would actually solve so many problems. They could have even tied Anakin into it. Overall this new trilogy was filled with massive amounts of missed opportunities down to Disney and the directors. But even then still provided fans with some moments we thought we would never see. I do rate Adam Driver as an actor and think he was the best thing about the trilogy.
Posted December 28th, 2019
So, I saw it again yesterday, and I realized I misunderstood some events.
[hide]When Rey heals the snake thing, she says she's "giving up some Force energy" and she rubs her hand afterward like she's in pain. I guess this scene colored my interpretation of the rest of the film, because I thought Leia gave up her life in order to heal Ben after he gets stabbed, but that's pretty clearly not what's happening. Leia says his name, it stuns him, Rey uses the opportunity to stab him, then Rey senses Leia's death, then she heals Ben without any repercussions to herself.
So, why does Leia die? Maz says that Leia has to use all of her strength to save Ben, but all she does is say his name? We've seen people communicate previously through the Force, why the fuck does this kill her?
At the end when Rey dies, on my first viewing I assumed that Ben was giving up his life energy to save Rey, but I guess that's not what's happening. He's hurt pretty bad, barely able to walk towards her body, so I guess he just dies immediately after healing her? But he holds her body for so long, and he gets this weird determined look on his face right before he heals her, so what is happening?
I guess the only explanation is that you can heal mortal wounds with minimal to no negative effects, so long as you're still alive, but to bring someone back from death, you have to sacrifice your life? This kind of makes sense, even if it ignores Rey seemingly in pain when she heals the snake, but it still doesn't explain why Leia died. Am I missing something?[/hide]
Posted December 29th, 2019
by The Bandit
I'm actually going to watch it again in about an hour because my Dad and Sister haven't watched it yet but this is how I interpreted that:
I decided to ignore the nonsense Maz says because it makes about as much sense as the medical droid in Revenge of the Sith saying Padme "lost the will to live".
Instead my interpretation was that Leia created some kind of link with Kylo, which is what momentarily stuns him. It surely had to be something deeper than just hearing her name so I imagine it as a bond where she's sharing emotion and thought or something?
Anyway. Then Rey stabs Kylo and this stab also injures Leia because of the link/bond she's created to Kylo. Rey senses this and immediately realises she's done a terrible thing. Heals him up and then throws herself into exile on the island where Luke then gives her a motivational speech so she can go fight the big bad.
I believe what Maz says is supposed to be the "official" reason she dies, but I've chosen to interpret the events as above. I feel it works as a culmination of the "dark side" in Rey story-arc, she got aggressive in battle and it accidentally cost Leia her life, which is a big enough concequence to set Rey firmly on the path of light and resist Palpatine's temptations later in the story. (Not that he's very good at it, they guy literally always announces his end goal to the people he's manipulating!)
Edited December 29th, 2019
There's something I haven't seen people talking about.
The fact that Rey can "save people from dying" being the very thing Anakin Skywalker was seeking in the prequels and she can just do it without any hassle. Also, Kylo just does it without any training or knowledge as well. Wouldn't it have been more interesting if the trilogy had hinted at or built up to the power to save others from death instead of our heroes just...easily doing it?
And that's why this film is a mixed bag. So many poor storytelling decisions...
Posted December 29th, 2019
>The fact that Rey can "save people from dying" being the very thing Anakin Skywalker was seeking in the prequels and she can just do it without any hassle. Also, Kylo just does it without any training or knowledge as well. Wouldn't it have been more interesting if the trilogy had hinted at or built up to the power to save others from death instead of our heroes just...easily doing it?
[hide]So I've seen this discussed on the internet a fair bit as a reason for why the movie "sucks" but it seems people who raise this point are missing something I felt the movie adequately explained.
The power is unique to this "Force Dyad" concept they introduce. It's why they can heal things and it's that power that Palpatine exploits to heal himself once he discovers what they are. This is also why his plan was to have Rey "kill" him, because at the time he wasn't aware of the Dyad (as Kylo Ren explains earlier in the movie) so he's not aware it's an option.
So yea in terms of Anakin's story it has very little impact because it was never an option for him.
But on to a wider point I've seen come up accross this trilogy. The idea that you need to be taught a specific force power, or have prior knowledge of it, just doesn't seem to me to be how the Force works. I guess the prequels are possibly to blame because of the famous "is it possible to learn this power" line, but I think for most fans it's probably the videos games and expanded universe that have created this idea that the force is broken down into specific "powers" when it kinda isn't (at least my understanding is that it isn't).
If you think back to the OT you never see Obi-Wan or Yoda specifically teaching Luke how to life things or do backflips. All of Luke's training is what the Force is and how to communicate with it/feel it. Between Ep4 and Ep5 Luke is able to teach himself how to use telekinesis after Obi-Wan kinda just teaching him how to feel the Force.
So I guess the point I am trying to get at is the Force is intuitive. Once you start to understand how to manipulate it you can start doing "anything" (within the rules of whatever that particular story lets you do I guess :P).
As a side note I'll talk about Rey here too seeing as I've always been someone that disliked how she could instantly use "force powers" in TFA so some might think that's contradictory to what I've just said. But it isn't really, my issue with Rey has never been that she can do all these things but more that she was able to do them with no training or understanding of what the Force is. I think this movie is trying to say it's because she's a Palpatine and thus they think the plot hole is closed, but I much prefer the idea that the Force Dyad/Bond thingy is what gave Rey access to Kylo's knowledge and Kickstarted her ability to make use of the Force. So for me that kinda retroactively fixes that issue as I don't think she starts using the Force until after Kylo tries to mind-read her and that's when you can safely guess the Dyad/Bond was formed.
Anyway. I definitely think it would've been cool if the movie had addressed the fact that Anakin wanted this exact power, but ultimately I don't think it really matters because the rules (as I understand them) that this movie provided for the power existing and working meant it was still never within Anakin's ability to access.[/hide]
Posted December 29th, 2019
[hide]=Instead my interpretation was that Leia created some kind of link with Kylo, which is what momentarily stuns him.
This would certainly help to explain why her body doesn't disappear until Ben dies. It still leaves a lot of questions that aren't easily answered. It's frustrating because I don't know if the writers intended for this to be vague or if they thought it was clear but couldn't actually make it clear because they didn't have the right Leia lines. Rey and Kylo don't seem to be confused at all by what's happening, which points to them thinking it's clear to the audience, but Leia's death really doesn't make much sense.
=Not that he's very good at it, they guy literally always announces his end goal to the people he's manipulating!
Jesus, somehow I never even thought about this. If he had just kept his fucking mouth shut Rey probably would have just killed him, but revealing that she would then be possessed by dead Sith probably wasn't a big selling point for her. It's kind of funny when considering how comically evil Palpatine is though. Like he can't even comprehend that someone *wouldn't* want to be possessed by every Sith Lord ever.
=The power is unique to this "Force Dyad" concept they introduce. It's why they can heal things and it's that power that Palpatine exploits to heal himself once he discovers what they are.
I don't think this fits. Baby Yoda uses Force Heal in The Mandalorian. It can't just be a result of their bond. If there's a distinction between regular healing and bringing someone back from the dead, then that could be a result of their bond, but with how Rey brings Kylo back from the verge of death, it still presents a problem. Anakin could just be with Padme during her delivery and then heal her when she starts to slip.
Again, back to the line from Rey when healing the snake, it feels like it should be more important than it evidently is. If you have to give up your energy/life to heal, then this isn't what Anakin would have wanted. While yes, he probably would have sacrificed himself to save Padme if that was an option, Anakin's issue was always that he wanted it all. He would not have been satisfied with just saving Padme's life, he would have wanted to save her life and then live happily ever after with her. If he found Force Heal in the Jedi Archives or something, he still would have fallen to the dark side for Palpatine's power.
This shit needed a rewrite.[/hide]
Edited December 29th, 2019
by The Bandit
i would have preferred for this film to focus more on the legitimate character drama of rey kylo and the sith mastermind instead of cramming those good bits in with a shitload of generic lightspeed technicolor adventure vomit because the struggle between individual identity and ancestral identity is a subject that i think is very interesting and also a lot of the reasoning of how exegol and the sith mastermind worked were not adequately explained
Posted January 1st
>It's frustrating because I don't know if the writers intended for this to be vague or if they thought it was clear but couldn't actually make it clear because they didn't have the right Leia lines. Rey and Kylo don't seem to be confused at all by what's happening, which points to them thinking it's clear to the audience, but Leia's death really doesn't make much sense.
Yea, I don't for one second think my interpretation is the same as the official one but I like it better than Max just saying "She's gonna use up all her life to Skype call Kylo Ren."
But I also did a similar thing with Padme's death. I kinda like the idea that Anakin had formed some kind of force bond with Padme (there's a scene where they're both simultaneously sad even though there's not really much reason for Padme to be at the time I think) and as she "loses the will to live" at the same time he's being made into Vader I sorta interpret it that he unintentionally drains her life through the bond. Just to make it even more tragic.
>Jesus, somehow I never even thought about this. If he had just kept his fucking mouth shut Rey probably would have just killed him, but revealing that she would then be possessed by dead Sith probably wasn't a big selling point for her. It's kind of funny when considering how comically evil Palpatine is though. Like he can't even comprehend that someone *wouldn't* want to be possessed by every Sith Lord ever.
It only really occured to me in this movie because it's the same stuff he tried on Luke in Ep6 and it didn't work there either. In Ep6 it often seems like Luke is getting angry and then Palpatine goes all evil villain mode "Goooooood, I can freewheel your anger! Strike me down and your journey towards the dark side will be complete!" And it's like that pulls Luke back out of it because it reminds him what's at stake!
But here it's even more the case that he ruins his own plan. Rey was literally planning to do what he wanted, all he had to do was act the part of the evil grandad about about to conquer the galaxy and she would've done it. Instead he tells her all about how killing him will turn her to the dark side and he'll possess her or whatever and then she's like "Well that doesn't sound fun!".
I love Palpatine for his over the top evil, but the guy has serious issues with announcing his plans. It's a wonder he didn't reveal everything to Anakin in episode 1!
>I don't think this fits. Baby Yoda uses Force Heal in The Mandalorian.
In that case I'm unsure as I've yet to watch that due to Disney+ not being available here until March and I've been too lazy to find an 'alternative viewing method'.
Just based on this movie alone it certainly felt like they were trying to say something about it was unique to the Dyad when Palpatine only realises he can absorb their life because they're a Dyad.
>Again, back to the line from Rey when healing the snake, it feels like it should be more important than it evidently is. If you have to give up your energy/life to heal, then this isn't what Anakin would have wanted. While yes, he probably would have sacrificed himself to save Padme if that was an option, Anakin's issue was always that he wanted it all. He would not have been satisfied with just saving Padme's life, he would have wanted to save her life and then live happily ever after with her. If he found Force Heal in the Jedi Archives or something, he still would have fallen to the dark side for Palpatine's power.
I still don't think it's necessarily an issue because he didn't necessarily just want to save her there and then but he wanted to keep her and the child safe forever. His fall to the Dark Side is depicted as starting from a fear of loss, Yoda tells him he needs to train himself to let go but he doesn't. Sure if he'd found "Force Heal" maybe it would've worked, but that fear of lossing her would still be there forever. Palpatine would've still gotten into his mind with other ideas and pulled him.
I think part of the problem is Anakin's story is depicted quite poorly. Realistically there was no reason for him to take Palpatine at his word after he learned that he was the Sith Lord responsible for everything bad in the Galaxy (including multiple attempts on Padme's life in just the prequel movies, never mind including the Clone Wars series). So it's quite hard to really defend the Force Heal addition when Anakin's fall to the dark side is as weak as Palpatine saying "Join me and will research how to save Padme even though the childbirth is imminent!" and Anakin replying "Ok I'll go waste research time to kill a bunch of children instead!"
So yea I dunno. Doesn't bother me so much because I feel Palpatine could've adaquetly worked around it by just saying "Yea but my stuff can stave off death permanently!"
Posted January 2nd
>also a lot of the reasoning of how exegol and the sith mastermind worked were not adequately explained
Yea they wasted a lot of time with unnecessary stuff like the fetch quest (especially since it wasn't even needed in the end to get them to their destination) when they could've spent that time giving more details on stuff that was actually relevant to the movie and potentially more interesting.
Posted January 2nd
So, after many many delays I finally got around to seeing this.
My first thoughts look like this:
* First two acts were good, on pacing to be better than TLJ (my current #1). Last act was god-awful.
* Had some visually impressive moments, though the one in TLJ was still the best so far.
One small point:
[hide]The dead speak! General Leia Organa.[/hide]
Posted January 22nd
I guess this post lost a load of legitimate replies at some point?
Posted January 22nd